Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Once Upon A Time
Character/Pairing: Hook/Emma, Mary Margaret, Mentions of Charming/Snow
Challenge/Prompt: 1_million_words A to Z Challenge: K
Word Count: 1,757
Date Written: 5 June, 2016
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to their rightful owners, not the author, and are used without permission.
"I don't love him! I can't love him!"
"Aha! That's what the problem is!"
"No, I mean it! I can't love him! The kiss didn't work!"
Mary Margaret's brow furrows. "What kiss?" she queries. "Which one?"
Emma gives her one of the few looks the older woman figures she would receive a considerable deal more of if she had actually been able to raise her daughter herself. Most mothers can't stand such glowers, but Snow relishes each and every one. She smiles in response which only serves to darken her daughter's glower.
"The kiss to break the curse of my forgetting everything and every one here in Storybrooke," Emma replies as though it should be obvious. When her mother still doesn't appear to catch on, she elaborates, "When he came after Henry and myself in New York, he kissed me, but his kiss didn't do anything but make me mad! It certainly didn't break the curse! I decked him!"
Snow chuckles but quiets when Emma cuts blazing eyes at her. "So," she concludes pointedly, raising her cup of hot chocolate, "I can't possibly love him, because the kiss gave me was not the Kiss of True Love."
Mary Margaret lowers her own cup and looks seriously across the small table into her daughter's determined eyes. "I wouldn't say," she advises her gently. "Just because it didn't break one curse doesn't mean you two don't truly love each other."
"But it didn't work!" Emma protests.
"The Kiss of True Love doesn't always work." Snow shrugs, raises her cup again, and takes a sip.
"But . . . But I thought it was like the major cure all, end all for you people!"
"We, Emma. We're all the same people."
"No, we're not. You're used to this sort of thing: magic and kisses of True Love and everything. I'm a girl from the twenty first century." She shakes her head. "I'm not used to any of this," she murmurs into her cup before taking a sip.
"And I'm sorry you're not," Snow says, reaching over and laying a hand on top of her daughter's, "but you will be one day. You may have grew up in the modern world, Emma, but it isn't the world to which you belong. You belong to our world: to the world of magic and True Love and Princes and Pirates doing everything they can to win the fair hands of the women they love."
Emma swallows quickly, barely stopping herself from spitting chocolate. "Mom," she laughs, "do not make me spew chocolate!" Snow just looks at her and smiles, her whole face seeming to glow with sudden joy. "What?" Emma asks crossly and with a considerable bit of curiosity.
"You called me 'Mom'," Snow points out. "I never get that tired of that."
"Well, I do get tired of you trying to hook me up with Captain Hook!"
Snow shakes her head. "I don't like the fact that you're dating a Pirate, Emma, but -- "
"I'd hardly call what we've been doing dating!"
It's Snow's turn to sharpen her gaze. "Which is not exactly a good thing, young lady." She stops herself just short of asking her if she wants to have another kid out of wedlock. Such things don't matter in this time, and what does matter, regardless, is her daughter's happiness -- and as much as it pains her, Hook does make her daughter happy.
She takes another slow sip of her chocolate to steady her nerves before speaking again. "Look," she says honestly, "I don't like it. I don't like him. But I do like the way he makes you smile. I haven't seen you this happy since . . . well, really, since never."
Emma cocks an eyebrow. "Do I really act that happy around him?"
"You don't act it. You are. He makes you happy, Emma, and that matters -- "
"But it's not love! It can't be! The kiss didn't work!"
"The kiss of True Love is powerful, Emma, but it doesn't always work. It hasn't always worked for your father and I."
Snow nods. "Yup," she insists, taking another sip of her hot chocolate. "There was a time that I was so . . . full of heartache," she says, searching carefully for just the right word, "that I drank a potion that was intended to make me forget your father."
"Why would you want to forget him?"
"For the same reason you don't want to believe that this . . . whatever you want to call it you have with Hook is love. I was scared. I didn't believe we'd work out. I was forced to give up on ever seeing him again in order to protect his life. I didn't see any way we could be together, any way I could even come back into his life -- "
"So you took a potion from Rumplestiltskin and drank it."
Snow nods. "Yes." Her expression makes it clear that she's not proud of the fact of what she did. "We all make mistakes, Emma," she adds softly, wrapping both hands around her hot cup.
"Did it work?" her daughter asks.
"Yes. Hmph. Too well. I forgot I ever knew your father. The potion changed me completely. Even when I was confronted with your father again, I didn't remember him. He thought he could break the curse the potion put on me by kissing me, just like Killian thought he could break your curse by kissing you, but it didn't work because I didn't remember him."
"And because you didn't remember him, you didn't remember that you loved him."
"I didn't even remember myself," Snow admits, shaking her head. "And that's not the only time that True Love's kiss hasn't worked."
"But if it doesn't always work, how . . . " Emma's face screws up with churning, twisting emotions, each of which wars with the others, before she finally asks, "How do you know if it's love?"
Snow sits back with a warm smile. "It's different for everybody," she acknowledges, "but there are a few tell tale traits."
"Like how he makes you feel. Hook makes you happy. I don't understand it," she says, briefly closing her eyes and shaking her head, "but I know it's true." She looks into her daughter's eyes again, almost as though she's daring her to defy her knowledge. "He makes you happy."
"He does," Emma finally admits with a slight nod of her own.
"And when you kiss, . . . how hot is it?"
"Mom!" Emma's face colors.
"Oh, come on, we used to talk about things like this all the time!"
"That was before I knew you're my Mother!"
"Well, how hot is it? Does it . . . Does it make you want to lean in to him until even you can't tell where you end and he begins? Does it make you want to melt into him until there's nothing left of you? Do you forget everything else? Do you feel like you're flying when you shut your eyes? Like you're soaring higher than the birds, higher than the sky? Do all your problems seem to disappear as long as you're kissing him? Does your . . . Does your foot want to lift into the air as you lean into him? Does he make your toes curl?"
"Well, does he?"
Snow smiles. "You don't have to answer me, Emma, but think about it and answer yourself. If Hook makes you happy -- and I know he does --, you owe it to yourself to find out if it is love. Don't dismiss the man just because True Love's kiss didn't work!" Mary Margaret shakes her head. "That's just another excuse," she observes knowingly, "for you to be able to run, and don't try to tell me you're not still running. You're not running from your father and I or from Henry any longer, or from your duties as the Savior, and I'm thankful for all of that, but are you still running from your heart."
"Mom!" Emma protests again, but she can't seem to make her mouth work to say anything more than that.
"Just think about it, Emma," Mary Margaret says, raising from their table. She takes her daughter's emptied cup and heads to the sink with both their cups. "You owe it to yourself, and you owe it to your family to let yourself be happy."
Emma truly is considering all her mother's words when their door bell rings. "Will you get that?" Snow asks, not turning from their morning dishes.
Emma raises obediently and goes to answer the door only to find the object of her thoughts once more standing at her door. "Swan." Killian greets her with a warm, charming smile to which her entire body, from her blonde curls all the way down through her toes, responds eagerly.
Her mother's words still ringing in her ears, Emma grabs the lapel of Hook's black leather jacket and snatches him close. As her lips touch his, they curve into a smile. Warm pleasure radiates throughout her. She leans closer into him as his arms wrap around her lithe body. His tongue slips smoothly into her mouth, stroking her fire.
Emma moans against her mouth and realizes a second after it's happened that she's lifted one foot while leaning into his embrace. Behind her, back at the sink, Mary Margaret is watching her daughter and beaming. She lowers the cup she's washing and just watches the two together. She still doesn't like the Pirate, but she does like what he does for her daughter.
They kiss for so long that Snow's beginning to think they may stay that way all day. Finally, she clears her throat, and the two peel away from each other. Emma turns back toward her, her tongue touching her top lip. She's clearly still savoring his taste.
Killian's tongue is quick to lick his own lips. "Good morning to you too, luv," he murmurs, following her into the apartment.
Feeling her mother's eyes zeroed in on her, Emma meets her gaze and reluctantly, slowly nods. She's not yet ready to call it love, but her mother's right about one thing. True Love's Kiss might not have worked for them, but there's definitely something between them. Hook shuts the door, and Emma's heart silently soars with the knowledge that they're together again.
Snow beams back at her daughter, winks a single time, and turns back to the sink. Killian may be a Pirate, but as long as he keeps her daughter happy, she'll let him stay and keep her husband from running his sword through him.